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Vodafone reveals they were cyberattacked

Update Date: Nov 02, 2015 08:34 AM EST
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Mobile network Vodafone said on October 31, 2015 that they were subject to a cyberattack on October 28 and 29, with 1,827 customer accounts left exposed.

This follows the broadband provider, TalkTalk cyberattack two weeks ago. Police said on November 1 that they have arrested and bailed a third man in relation to the TalkTalk hack. The unnamed 20-year-old was arrested on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act offences at an address in Staffordshire, which has been searched by police. This follows the arrest of two teenage boys , one in London and one in Northern Ireland and suggests that the attack was coordinated, rather than the work of just one individual.

Vodafone said it has already contacted affected customers to let them know that their names, mobile numbers, bank account sort codes and part of their account numbers might have been accessed by hackers.

TalkTalk and Vodafone are just among the number of companies targeted due to their storage of customer data. Such cyberattacks leaves consumers powerless to control who can see their data and negatively impacts trust between companies and their customers. The data taken may be used against customers in a number of ways, with the ultimate goal of gaining access to their bank accounts, or creating new accounts and taking out loans under their names.

Victims of hacking can be the target of phishing calls and emails, which are designed to get further personal information from them, explains Ryan Wilk, director at NuData Security said.

"The creation of fraudulent accounts is on a sharp rise," Wilk said. "Of the 500 million plus account creations we analyzed over a few months, more than 57 percent of them were flagged fraudulent and account creation fraud has risen over 100 percent since February of this year alone."

TalkTalk said that all of its 4 million customers might have been victims in the attack, but on October 30 decreased the number down to 1.2 million. Among these number, 21,000 unique bank account numbers and sort codes were exposed and 28,000 obscured credit and debit card details.

"On behalf of everyone at TalkTalk, I would like to apologise to all our customers," said the company's CEO Dido Harding in a statement. "We know that we need to work hard to earn back your trust and everyone here is committed to doing that."

TalkTalk is now offering 12 months of credit-monitoring alerts to customers for free. They continue to warn customers to watch out for scam phone calls and emails.

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